2022

Case History

Due to the confidential nature of Children Act proceedings I am unable to provide names of cases or full details. The below anonymised cases provide a snapshot of the work I have personally undertaken over the last 14 years. Where a case has been reported in the Law Reports the citation is given in bold. I represent mothers, fathers, grandparents and other carers (boyfriend etc) all over England and Wales from Manchester and Newcastle to the Midlands and South East.  I have also included some of the work of my colleague, Victoria Harle.

 

Re M

I represented a mother when care proceedings were issued following their baby sustaining multiple metaphyseal fractures.  Obtaining the right experts in the case was important and after thorough examination of the medical evidence the local authority removed our client from the pool of perpetrators during the fact finding hearing.  She was allowed to resume care of her baby straight away.  After the Judge decided that the father had caused the injuries unintentionally, the matter concluded with no public law orders and both parents caring for their child.

Re H

My client, the father, had been looking after his baby when the baby become unwell and he had acted in panic to try to revive the baby.  This unfortunately caused intracranial injuries including subdural and retinal haemorrhaging.  The local authority accused him (and the mother) of maliciously and violently shaking their baby but we were able to demonstrate through medical evidence that his actions had inadvertently caused the injuries and the parents resumed care of the baby.

Re A

My colleague, Victoria Harle, represented a father in a case involving fractures in an immobile infant. The father’s position was that he had caused the fractures unintentionally by handling the child inappropriately. Despite expert evidence suggesting that this explanation was unlikely, we successfully secured a Judgment that the father had given an honest, although incomplete, account of events and had not intended to cause injury to the child.

Re G (Finding of Fact Hearing: Resuscitative Shake) [2022] EWFC B6

I represented a mother following her child collapsing at home and being found to have injuries thought to be caused by shaken baby syndrome.  We were able to instruct numerous medical experts and explore various issues.  Our client was removed from the pool of perpetrators by the Judge at the conclusion of the fact find.  The father was found to have shaken the child in an attempt to resuscitate and threshold was not met.  The children returned to their parents.

Re C

A premature baby with significant breathing issues was found to have rib fractures on a routine x-ray in relation to her respiratory issues.  Care proceedings were initiated as the treating doctors thought the fractures were suspicious and were not related to her prematurity.  We were quickly able to seek neonatal and radiological expertise that came to the clear conclusion that my client’s child had metabolic bone disease as a result of her prematurity.  The proceedings were swiftly withdrawn.

Re J

My colleague, Victoria Harle, represented a mother in a case involving serious shaking injuries. We were able to achieve an early exclusion of the mother from the pool of potential perpetrators, meaning that the mother did not need to give evidence at the fact-finding hearing and the child was returned to her care without delay.

Re M

My client, the mother was accused along with her partner of causing unusual bruising to their infant.  Our client was cleared of any wrongdoing and immediately resumed care of the children.

Re S

My colleague, Victoria Harle, represented a mother in a case involving a single rib fracture. In the course of proceedings, we secured expert evidence supporting the parents’ account of events. As a result of this, we were able to place pressure on the Local Authority to withdraw their case. The case against the parents was withdrawn and the child returned home without any order.

Re W

I represented a mother who had taken her infant to hospital with a suspected pulled elbow.  It was found to be a fracture and in fact several other fractures were identified by the hospital.  Later, through expert evidence, we were able to show that there was only one fracture.  An explanation had been given by the parents which, in conjunction with a connective tissue disorder, was responsible for the fracture.  The care proceedings concluded with the children at home with their parents.

Re X

My colleague, Victoria Harle, represented a mother within pre-proceedings meetings, in which unexplained bruising was a key feature. We were able to successfully de-escalate the case from pre-proceedings to Child Protection, with the children remaining in their mother’s care.